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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  October 15, 2012 4:30am-5:00am EDT

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department in our oil needs? dent in our oil needs? >> guest: the question is about offshore wind. if you go to europe, germany particularly, denmark, u.k., people are building offshore wind. i think it's still early in terms of development to know how resilient wind will be in that harsher environment. it's also expensive. it's about twice or three times more expensive than onshore wind. so i will say we'll see. people are starting to do offshore wind development, but before the big share of our electricity, i think it would be some number of years and really have to pass through to show that over a period of time that it could survive the weather and the elements. >> host: next call comes from jerry in brooklyn, arkansas. jerry, please, go ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: thank you. it's a real pleasure and honor to speak with mr. yergin.
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>> guest: thank you. >> caller: i read your "prize" and saw the pbs documentary based on it, and i thought it was very insightful. it really, i mean, your academic depth and scholarship is remarkable. >> guest: thank you. >> caller: my concern with your current book, "the quest," i wish -- i haven't read it. i will. >> guest: good. >> caller: i was concerned that there's not a -- if it were the vision, the vision. you know, "the quest," i know, is for profit. but is there a vision? is there something to do in these guys' these international oil companies' minds as they're polluting the gulf, they're drilling in the arctic the next
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big boondoggle, i guess, and maybe greater catastrophe environmentally? do they have any concept of a vision for humanity, for the oceans? oceans? anyhow, you understand what i'm saying. >> host: all right. we got the question. >> guest: obviously, the macondo accident you referred to was a really terrible thing, and really, you know, kind of transfixed the nation for months. but i think, you know, obviously, these are companies that are in business and responsive to their shareholders. i would suppose if you're saying what's the real vision, i think for everybody who's in the energy business, whether it's oil and gas, solar or wind, it's really how do you meet the needs of a glowing economy? you see people around the world who are very poor who are no longer poor rising standards of income, and with that goes rising energy and how to meet the needs of a growing world is a fundamental question that
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faces everybody in the energy bids, and it's kind of like a horse race. who can meet it in terms of on an economic competitive basis on a large scale. >> host: next question from steve mufson. >> of course, we talk about the economic basis a lot, and one of the things is you start to think about the climate and environmental dimension. this is different than what was in "the prize" of course which was focused on oil, but it does seem as though it's hard to separate that from the climate issue now and environmental issues. >>ing right. >> host: so this is, of course, not something that's calculated into the price of oil or coal or whatever fossil fuels. and yet also seems to be something we need to think about. what do you tell people when they ask about -- >> guest: well, i think -- >> host: -- expansion versus the new err, era of limit?
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>> guest: i tell the story of smog in los angeles which was an unsolvable problem. it got solved. it took regulations pushing technology. climate is just a bigger cement, global issue. and i was going to write one chapter on it because i wondered how did climate become such an issue, and i found myself writing six because it was so interesting, and it started with a small band of scientists in the 19th century who were worried about another ice age. in the 20th century it was sign terrorists worried about carbon and how that would drive up temperatures and global warming, and i think we've seen it's very hard to get a global solution to it. but it's really interesting. u.s. emissions are down now about, like, 17% from where they were in 2005. why? because we're using more natural gas to generate electricity rather than coal. so there's not one solution. i think something that will have an impact on climate is, obviously, more efficient
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automobiles. less gasoline usage means less carbon in the air. >> host: next call for daniel yergin comes from dan in depp very, colorado. hi, dan. >> caller: hi, sir. having read all of your books, i'm one of the older people who remembers post-world war america, and in post-world war america we spent incredibly large sums of money to insure the acquisition of one source of energy. and corporate money as a society, and corporate money was spent in inventing new ways for us to use new energy which the government then spent more money to acquire that energy, military and so on and so forth. the one thing the government did was space travel, and from the space travel not only we got to the moon, but an incredible amount of by-product has helped the industry. now most of novelty, most of new ideas are being acquired from
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private enterprise and not through open access scientific work as, you know, was done for the space program. do you think that if we return to the model of not for profit, acquisition of technology that everybody could use, we could save the planet whereas in the current plan all we're doing is adding to the problem because gas is adding to the carbon dioxide in the air. a little less, but it's not significantlyless. >> guest: well, i think that, obviously, you're talking about two things. one is what's happened to the space program, and in a sense the privatization of the space program that's going on. but the other thing you're talking about is the basic question of research. and i think we have gotten the levels of spending on energy research and development up. they're not back to the levels that they were before. i think that that's the most important investment we can make in our future if high and sustained levels of investment in the science, research and
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seasonal to that young people can go in there and know that they can build tiers careers, work on these problems. the work that's being done today in universities, we may not see the impact 10 or 20 years, and if the fundingn't there, if it gets interrupted, then we'll hughes that opportunity and what may be an important chance for the future. >> host: next call, dave in cortez, california. hi, dave. >> caller: oh, hi. this is cortez, colorado. >> host: oh, sorry about that. >> caller: oh, okay. out here in colorado we're going to have an initiative on the ballot, and it's been put on there to legalize hemp. and i was wondering what, how you feel about hemp, and before the 1930s we used hemp for a lot of synthetic products until the petrochemical industry decided they'll make a lot more must be by abandoning it. so i was wondering if we are as a country we start making
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synthetic rope instead of polyester, we'd start using it for food, fuel and fiber. >> host: we got the point, dave. thank you very much. >> guest: i don't have much expertise on hemp, but one of the areas we were talking just a moment ago about research, one of the questions is biofuels and the ability to make the energy we need, some part of it, out of biological material of some kind or another. and that's one of those examples where a lot of work is going into it. it turns out to be a harder problem than people thought. it's taking longer to do it, but i'd say that's one of the areas where five or ten years from now we may see the benefit of scientific research that we're seeing today. >> host: well, the stimulus program we just had had a huge amount of money for the energy department to give away and research, and you're familiar with the controversy about solyndra, the solar panel maker
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that went bankrupt with half a million dollars worth of loans. what do you think about the way the administration handled this money overall and how important it is for future development. >> guest: yeah, obviously, that was done on an emergency basis. and i think we'll see some really great work about the stimulus, that was part of it. i think that we've seen that the it's harder for the government to decide when it looks at different industrial enterprises what to pick, and particularly because you're dealing with the saygies of the market, sin da was based on how see lahr prices so i think you have to look at it along a spectrum, but i think that r&d, the basic science, the research, getting things towards commercialization, that's where
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the real role of government is. >> host: is there a moral about, you know, whether to finance those things, start-up ventures whether you purchase the end result or whether you put money in more like venture capital. >> host: that was what was really pioneered during world war ii to give us synthetic rubber. i think is the answer turns out it is a harder thing to do. and, obviously, it was done in that spirit of emergency. but i don't think we're going to see that tape of -- that part of the spectrum again. >> host: "the quest" is the name of the book. daniel yergin is the author. he is a pulitzer prize winner as well for his last book, and he is also vice chair of ihs cambridge energy associates. >> guest: it's a long name. >> host: what is ihs? >> guest: ihs is a company that is a big information company.
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it covers everything from energy to the comoi to electronics. ihs is part of that, it's a part that focuses on energy markets, and it's, basically, ongoing research in energy markets. >> host: and steve mufson is n reporter for "the washington post," he is our guest reporter today. next call comes frommal has see, florida. al, good afternoon. you're on booktv on c-span2. >> caller: hi, dan, i used to be the former energy director for the state of missouri and the great work that you did in energy and forests. my question is simple. originally, the price of oil, the supply and demand were connected directly, and the first energy shock was largely because the prices were regulated. and they were allowed to, they didn't rise the middle of a
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shortage, and then president reagan deregulated the prices. now it seems like the prices are geared towards speculation totally and don't have a relationship to supply and demand. are we in this, are we in this trough for a while? or when will the price of oil go down? >> i think you make an important claim. one of the hinges i've learned is price is a piece of information, and it tells consumers and producers woo to do and it tells researchers. one part reflects the fact that oil markets are growing strong, and many of the energy sources we have today wouldn't be economic at $20 a barrel, duh they're adequate now. i think you're right, football markets have had a bigger role than in the past, many investors
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look on oil and mod fews, i ask the class like invading in stocks or reality. the third thing, it reflects the eyeing -- rising opinions. you hear these statements that are made about conflict in some form or another, about whether iran is going to have nuclear weapons or not. that kind of scenario could effect the supply coming out of the gulf which as steve pointed 17 million of barrels a day. >> about 15 minutes left in this call-in program. vernon in st. petersburg, florida. go ahead. >> caller: thank you very much. i'm interested if we fully develop alaska to its pure potential and we use the natural gas, would that take care of our
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problem along with the keystone line from canada? >> well, i think all of those what best of my ability, or it's been supplanted by north dakota. alaska sought to have large russs, some of it is closed back because of environmental areas. conflict in washington over that issue. but i do think we see a changing balance. we were on course five years ago to spend $100 billion into the year with. we were going to be short. now we actually have a surplus of it, and it's helps our economy. i think ha kind of a change in the resource base, i think what we've discovered over the last couple of years and it's reflected, i think, in obama administration policy as well as what mr. romney's saying in his
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campaign is that energy development tie into economic development in the country, and taunt with focused -- wasn't notioned on even a couple of years ago. >> >> host: speaking about the exports of lng, i wud wondering how you feel about. a loot of companies -- a lot of companies want to keep it here and let cheap natural gas be part of an american industrial renaissance whereas, of course, some people say this is all part of our free trade as tuesday, and we can be exporting whatever we say. >> why that, of course, you know china well. i thought this -- that they were obsessed. it will make us more competitive in the legal economy. it seems to pee we'll up
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sorting. i don't think -- partly because it's a competitive market, and if it's a mod e share, i don't think. by the way, you had this terrible nuclear disaster, you need more gas. it would be good for us to say, okay, we'd like to be able to import some of our natural gas from you. we never thought five years ago about this, and it shows you how much our situation has changedded. >> host: next call for our guest, daniel yergin, comes from santa fe, california, jeff. please, go ahead. >> yes, hi. >> guest: hi. >> caller: my question is this. it seems as though oil and natural gas are commodities and
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as longs eark r axe, of our oil comes out of the mideast, ideals you won't predict that, the wind's always going to be at the whims of -- whims of the middle east. >> fudge bl means one barrel can be exchanged for another one easily. i think the question you're raising is the one steve related to earlier. and i think it's, it is true that even if we've much for end dependent or less opportunity our policy's knot we can. it lovess -- but, still, if you have a major disruption of oil supplies in the middle east, that will effect everyone around the world. what happens to oil prices in the norway is affected by what happens there. and the middle east has been the
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source of the upheaval for many peoples going babb b to 1956. >> host: lois in westport, connecticut. hi. >> caller: hi there. i understand that the obama administration had to -- [inaudible] money in china to build windmills, and i wonder why the windmills couldn't be butter here, and i'm not so sure they're practical right now -- [inaudible] and another quick question. what did you think of fracking? >> guest: that's a great question. [laughter] that's not a quick question. but on green is about 4% of our electricity now. it's actually grown quite rapidly. it doesn't have the problem, it depends on the wind blowing, so it needs to be back up up with emergency resources. flsh. ..
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>> the gas produced that way is about 40% of our total supply. it is important to our economy. i was on a commission last year that president obama had set up, which tried to address a roadmap to dealing with the environmental questions. >> i would like to ask you both
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a question. breaking a political term, is that a political term or a technical term? >> is a derivative of the technical term, but it has become part of the popular jargon and language. it's amazing how that can happen in such a short period of time. just a year ago, oil analyst sent out an e-mail asking if we could all learn how to spell it. because some people spell it spell it with certain letters and there is not a consensus about it now. >> it was a sort of industry jargon, a shorthand that people use, and now it has become a political slogan, actually. >> i just took a trip along the proposed route and stop in a restaurant where they had on the menu something called the phrack attack.
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>> we are talking about the new book, the class, energy security and the remaking of the modern world and next up is mark in las vegas, hello, mark. >> caller: hello, i will make this quick. i just have a couple of questions for you. is energy growing at a linear rate or nonlinear versus supply? >> guest: well, i think it depends about where you are talking about. and where you are talking about exactly come in the united states, in terms of oil, we will reach peak demand in 2009, and our oil demand will go down. china's energy, it normally goes at nine or 10%. i think right now it is not that oil supplies it won't go more
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than normal on a normal basis, but it will affect what's going on with the middle east right now. half of the oil exports are out of the market because of the sanctions by the united states. >> host: what is your take on solynda? >> guest: solynda received subsidies from the department of energy. i think the money was given at a time when it was thought that solar was going to be very expensive and this chinese juggernaut came in along with a real fall of the silicon that goes in it. solyndra was stranded out there and it went bankrupt. it was not competitive. if they had to do it over, they probably wouldn't give them a alone. >> host: was a smart events investment for the taxpayers to make? >> guest: you have to look at it
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in the context of the whole stimulus program people will say, was that the best way were the only way, because remember that those were the days of 2009 this was meant to just jump start things. it went bankrupt. >> host: are tax credits for alternative energies a good idea? >> i think it is important to diversify our diversity supply. i think solar, i think that we do need to see these costs come down, they continue to be technological innovations. i think that encouraging them in a reasonable way, not only have we incentives, but many require a certain amount of utilities.
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california has a goal of one third of renewables coming from renewable energy, which is a big goal. both in energy terms of environment. >> host: would even come and see? >> this issue right here and right now, because a lot of people in congress want to end the production tax credit by the end of this year. it is already a big slowdown. it is for new term warrants for next year. >> host: we have time for one more call. the call is gone in 10 now gone. you have anymore questions for mr. daniel yergin? >> guest: what is the next book? >> guest: it is still coming out in paperback as well. just staying on top of things and adjusting it and how the
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world is going. inspirational, it will eventually occur, but will it be on energy? >> somewhere in there, this is supposed to take two years, and it took five years. it is very interesting to make it a real narrative and you get the people in it, but it was a lot of fun to write. >> host: "the quest: energy, security and the remaking of the modern world" is the book. the author is daniel juergen. we are pleased to have been joined by thomas mallon who has written
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this book, watergate a novel. now, we are a nonfiction work. how do you write a novel about watergate? how you approach that? >> the reader will find that the agreed upon facts, most of the big ones are still intact. president nixon resigns in 1974, the same basic time line. it is not what sometimes it's altered, the history. but i think what they can do with the existing history is in certain things in between. and then try to get an inside the heads of some of the peripheral players as well as some of the main players. >> a republican operative in the
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nixon white house without a business card bought in the white house directory. it fell to have to be the man who coordinated the payments to the burglars. >> historical fact. >> is this historical fact. and a very small softspoken intriguing man. he had a tragedy in his life when he was young, when he was in his late 20's he accidentally killed his father while they were out hunting. and he was an intriguing figure. i remember thinking he had the kind of personality i want to think about and export. he becomes a main player in the novel even though he was a relatively minor one in the scandal itself. >> is the protagonist in your novel? >> i'm not sure there is. about seven different points of view. some big people, some less
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figures. president nixon, this is nixon, the main character. eleanor roosevelt longworth approaching 90 at the time of the watergate scandal, teddy roosevelt staffer, still very sharp, still very humorous and would be. and she is sort of my one-woman which course with the long historical memory. howard hunt, one of the burglars who was one of -- the only person that i knew, actually. i knew him when i was in the magazine business. he was from an article for me when i was a gentle it -- jevons quarterly. i had him review a spy novel. he used to write them. and elliott richardson from the investigative side of things and a few more rail -- relatively minor, the president's secretary a great many of the players actually had their homes there. the mitchells live there.
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it was not just the headquarters of was there to be burgled. >> now, david mariness -- thomas mallon, yesterday we spent some time here at the national book festival. do they feature in watergate to the novel? >> in a minor way they come and go. julie nixon was a very valiant defender for father. david eisenhower was a good father lot throughout the scandal. julie nixon wrote a very good could -- a good book about her mother, of the least known of the first lady's that we had in modern times. never heard from again after the nixons left the white house, never did interviews, never wrote her own memoirs. and mrs. nixon was somebody i tried to bring to life in the book. >> you have written several historical fiction books, nonfiction, novels. how do you approach historical


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